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From the Start: Setting up Behat testing

Note: This article was originally published at Planet PHP on 19 April 9820.
Planet PHP

In a previous post I showed you how to use HTTP Auth with the Goutte driver in Behat testing. I want to take a step back and show you how I even got to that point with a simple guide to installing the tool and creating your first tests. In a future post, I'll show the (super simple) integration you can do with Jenkins to execute the tests and plug in the results.

First off, a definition for those not sure what Behat is:

Behat was inspired by Ruby's Cucumber project and especially its syntax part (Gherkin). It tries to be like Cucumber with input (Feature files) and output (console formatters), but in core, it has been built from the ground on pure php with Symfony2 components.

And, for those not sure what Cucumber is:

Cucumber lets software development teams describe how software should behave in plain text. The text is written in a business-readable domain-specific language and serves as documentation, automated tests and development-aid - all rolled into one format.

These are both tools that implement something called behavior-driven development, the practice of approaching testing from a more natural angle, allowing tests to be written in aoplain Englisha (or the language of your choosing with Behat) and executed at a domain level rather than a code level (as unit tests would). Behat makes this super simple and it really only takes a few minutes to get it up and running.

For my examples, I'm going to be working on a Linux-based system (CentOS actually) but the same kinds of ideas apply to other platforms too, just modified slightly for things like pathing. So, let's get startedafirst off, the installation. Personally, I recommend the Composer method for installation - it just makes it easier to get everything you need without having to think hardly at all.

Here's a set of commands (linux command line) to get everything set up for a basic project structure:

mkdir behat-testing-ftw; cd behat-testing-ftw; curl -s | php vi composer.json

Inside the composer.json file, enter the stuff from the Behat instructions here (the JSON format), then we can run composer on it:

php composer.json install

At this point you should see a bunch of things being installed in the aoInstalling dependenciesa section (at the time of this post, that includes things like symfony/finder, symfony/dependency-injection and behat/gherkin). Once this is finished, you should have a directory structure similar to:

Chriss-MacBook-Pro:behat-testing-ftw chris$ ls bin composer.json composer.lock composer.phar vendor

Behat should be magically installed in the bin/ directory - to test it out, try this:

Chriss-MacBook-Pro:behat-testing-ftw chris$ bin/behat

If all goes well, you should see a big red error talking about aofeaturesa not existing. This is good - we'll fix this now by making the testing base for Behat. Thankfully, it makes this easy too:

Chriss-MacBook-Pro:behat-testing-ftw chris$ bin/behat --init +d features - place your *.feature files here +d features/bootstrap - place bootstrap scripts and static files here +f features/bootstrap/FeatureContext.php - place your feature related code here

Your directory should now look like this:

Chriss-MacBook-Pro:behat-testing-ftw chris$ ls bin composer.json composer.lock composer.phar features vendor

The new features directory is where your Behat tests will live. If you look in there now, there's not much - just a bootstrap directory with a FeatureContext.php file in it. This file is where you'll define any custom rules you might need to use outside of the pre-defined ones Behat (and later Mink) come with. If you re-run Behat again, you should see:

Chriss-MacBook-Pro:behat-testing-ftw chris$ bin/behat No scenarios No steps 0m0.001s

So, let's give Behat something to do now - Behat tests are organized in aofeaturea files. Let's make a simple one for illustration and call it aosample.featuresa and put some content in it:

cd features vi sample.feature

And put the following inside it:

Feature: Testing Behat install This is a testing feature to see

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